Coventry Festival of Motoring

Statement regarding the future of the Coventry Festival of Motoring

For many years the Coventry Festival of Motoring has been run by the team at Coventry Transport Museum (CTM), and has been financially supported by funding from the museum, as well as other external funding, entry fees from participants, and income from sponsorship and commercial activities at the Festival.

We the CTM team have always seen the Festival as a key part of our annual programme of events, and have worked extremely hard over the years to make it a superbly enjoyable weekend for both the participants and car clubs who support the event year-on-year, and the public who come to spend a fun Bank Holiday weekend at the Festival. Those that have attended on a regular basis have seen the Festival grow significantly during the past 6 years, with over 40,000 people visiting the show last year.

It is with deep sadness therefore that I must announce that due to the current economic climate, our major funder is no longer able to support the Festival. This unfortunately leaves us with no option but to discontinue the Festival.

We have spent many hours trying to find a way to continue with the Festival of Motoring despite the loss of this funding. We have considered charging for public entry, but our calculations and consultation show that in order to break-even, the public ticket price would need to be so high that it would put off a good majority of people who have previously come along to enjoy a free weekend of motoring fun. Also, in order to attract a brand new ‘paying’ audience, we would need to significantly increase our advertising and marketing costs, and as CTM is a registered charity, we simply don’t have the financial resources to take on this risk.

I know that many people will be as upset as we are about this news, so we have been exploring what new events we can organise from the Museum, that will enable clubs and car/motorbike owners to get involved in a number of events at the Museum, and continue to give visitors a range of enjoyable motoring experiences throughout the year.

2015 is a really important year for Coventry Transport Museum as we re-launch in June following a £9m redevelopment of the museum. As part of the re-launch celebrations we are planning to hold a number of very special motoring events that we hope previous Festival participants will be keen to take part in, and visitors will be excited about attending. One of these events will appeal to owners and fans of Coventry made vehicles, and the other will be an attempt to break two world records. Further details of these events will be announced on the CTM website over the coming weeks.

We are also pleased to announce that from May this year, we will be holding a monthly ‘CTM Drive and Dine’ day where owners of classic cars, buses and motorcycles will have an opportunity to join the CTM team visiting various locations around the country. We have drawn up a list of possible destinations for this year so, once these events are finalised, we will also announce details on the CTM website.

In 2014 we started a monthly ‘Coffee and Cars’ event (the CTM Breakfast Club) where owners of classic cars and motorcycles are invited to join us on the second Saturday of each month for a cuppa and a pastry. This event was well attended last year and word has spread about what an enjoyable morning it is, both for those taking part and people coming to enjoy the displays. Bookings for this year are already open so, if people would like to join us they can visit the Transport Museum website to book, as numbers are limited.

Finally, many people already visit the Museum as part of a car or motorcycle club throughout the year. This is something we would like to expand on so we will be contacting clubs during the coming weeks to discuss our ideas.

It is disappointing that we will not be continuing with the Festival of Motoring, but I do hope that you will take the opportunity to join us at one or more of the exciting new events we will be holding this year.

Gary Hall
Chair of the Coventry Festival of Motoring organising committee